• 75°

Granite Quarry students revitalize playground

Team effort

Blake Earley applies a coat of fresh paint to the one of the four basketball goals on the playground at Granite Quarry Elementary School. Jon C. Lakey/Salisbury Post

Blake Earley applies a coat of fresh paint to the one of the four basketball goals on the playground at Granite Quarry Elementary School. Jon C. Lakey/Salisbury Post

By Rebecca Rider

rebecca.rider@salisburypost.com

GRANITE QUARRY — The first Saturday morning of spring break dawns bright and clear, and instead of heading off to the beach or away for a week of vacation, Granite Quarry Elementary’s Student Government Association (SGA) gathers on the school grounds.

A parent volunteer uses a leaf-blower to push gravel off an old, cracked outdoor basketball court, while the students grab brooms and begin sweeping around the base of the faded goalposts. Principal Catherine Hinson surveys the work.

“Our track has overflowed onto the blacktop,” she said.

The group is hard at work to restore the court to its old glory.

“It was getting worn out and had a lot of cracks and stuff,” fifth-grader Icesis Nwafor said.

Two of the basketball goals don’t have rims and have broken backboards. The others are missing nets. Grass and weeds grow in the cracks that spiderweb across the court.

Last year, fifth grade teacher and SGA supervisor Sarah Furr said, the students chose a school improvement project: they decided on the basketball court. Over the last year and a half the association raised more than $1,500 through in-school fundraisers to repair the blacktop and basketball goals.

Saturday, they finally got to see their work come to fruition.

“They’re excited,” Hinson said,” They’ve been out here since about 8:45 this morning.”

The kids spent the morning pulling weeds and grass, sweeping away gravel and repainting goalposts a vibrant yellow.

“It’s hard work, but it will be worth it,” fifth-grader Teagan Johnson said.

The group pulled out four buckets of blacktop sealant and set to work. Hinson stirred the black goop with a broom handle until it was pourable, and then the kids grabbed squeegees and began spreading it around.

While Hinson said they’d probably have to get more sealant to finish the court, when it’s done the students with the group will stencil games on the blacktop. Furr said they hope to put at least 20 different games on the court’s new face. New rims and backboards are being donated, but the SGA doesn’t plan to stop at the court.

“We’re technically upgrading the playground,” Johnson said.

Hinson hopes to repaint old playground equipment, and the school is in the process of installing a new walking track. Hinson hopes to put in a permanent kickball field and a swing set, as well.

“The more options you give them, the more likely they are to participate,” Hinson said.

Furr said the SGA wanted to tackle the entire improvement project, but they dialed it back and chose to focus on the basketball court.

Nwafor and the association’s other fifth-graders will be leaving at the end of the year, but Nwafor said they’re still excited about the changes.

“We’re going to try and enjoy it as long as we can,” Nwafor said.

 Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4246.

Comments

Crime

Man charged for stowing away on Norfolk Southern train, impeding railroad operations

Local

Group will protest treatment of Georgia woman during 2019 traffic stop

Crime

Man overdoses at Piedmont Correctional Institute

Crime

Sheriff’s Office: Two men escape from jail, found in bushes on Fulton Street

Ask Us

Ask Us: When will North Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue be resurfaced?

Local

Political Notebook: Rowan’s lawmakers pass 140 bills into the opposite chamber before deadline

Local

Police chief to present use of force policy; city manager to present 2021-22 budget

Crime

Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on charges of felony larceny, possession of stolen vehicle

Coronavirus

CDC director says mask turnaround based solely on science

News

Catawba College hosts three in-person commencement ceremonies

Local

With high case loads causing numerous staff departures, Child Protective Services seeks more positions

Education

Livingstone College graduates celebrate ‘crossing the finish line’ during commencement celebration

Coronavirus

Rowan sees 4 new COVID-19 deaths as mask mandate lifted, vaccines administered continue decline

Local

Spencer is latest town updating its development ordinance

Local

Salisbury native Kristy Woodson Harvey makes NY Times bestseller list

Local

Board of Commissioners will convene for third time in May

Business

Biz Roundup: Salisbury, Kannapolis among recipients of Region of Excellence Awards

Local

Cheerleading team competes at Disney

Education

Salisbury High to celebrate football, swimming champions with parade

High School

High school girls soccer: Isley, Webb lead all-county team

Local

Spencer awarded $10,000 to develop trails at Stanback Forest

Books

‘Tails and Tales’ coming to library this summer

Local

Public Records: March Deeds

Entertainment

Salisbury Symphony’s ‘Return to the Concert Hall’ available May 24-31